My daughter and I have coined a term for dealing with our problems – potatoes. A small potato is an insignificant problem that you can easily throw behind your shoulder and doesn’t take long to peel – meaning it’s not really worth your time.
A big potato represents the bigger, more significant problems in life. They take longer to peel because there’s more to them. They’re harder to throw behind your shoulder because they’re heavier.
I’m not sure how we came up with potatoes as a representation of life’s problems, or the concept of throwing one behind your shoulder, but it seems like a fun way to decipher what issues are important that you have to work hard at and what’s not so important that you can easily throw away.
I’ve recently endured some personal lows which has made me question myself and where I’m going. I try to maintain a positive attitude, but sometimes I feel like all I do is try – and I feel like I’m going nowhere.
It’s not just the pressure of starting a business and hoping for some financial success – it’s my personal life as well.
Now, I’ve made the conscious decision to not reveal too much personal stuff on this blog because I want to concentrate more on the professional aspects of my life on here. However, some elements of your personal life slip into your professional one, and to have a healthy, growing business, you have to deal with your personal side.
I’m still not going to delve too much into my personal life, but I am finding that there are still a lot of issues I need to face. But what do I classify as a big potato and what is a small one?
After finishing my six week business course last Tuesday, I do recognise a few of my weaknesses. In tradition of not revealing too much personal information, I will say one of my weaknesses – I’m a people pleaser. I do search for validation far too often. When I do receive the validation I seek, I feel more confident in my ideas and abilities. Why can’t I tell myself that my ideas and abilities are worthy? Why do I need someone else to tell me they’re good?
After finishing the course, I realise that I’m not alone in my weaknesses. So many other students struggled with their self worth and validation. It’s a common thing, particularly in women, when starting up a new business. I definitely put this issue in the Big Potato category. I do believe, however, that in time, this issue will decrease. I don’t know how long it will take for the issue to dissolve completely, but hey, one small step at a time!
In another vague, personal note, I had the displeasure of a complete stranger message me on Facebook, blaming me for an issue this person has that really has nothing at all to do with me. This person tried to make me the scapegoat for their problems, and I responded by – not responding at all. I put this under the category of Small Potato. I have enough on my plate without adding another small potato to an already full dish. It’s hard not to get slightly rattled, but I don’t need to deal with insecure people blaming me for their issues when, in fact, it’s themselves they need to look at. Anyway, if they contact me again, I’ll respond with grace and dignity. And politely tell them not to contact me.
So, after a week and a half of weaknesses coming to the forefront, I’ve decided to make a list of what’s important and why I need to continue with this business, because, well, this business is a pretty big potato. It’s a passion of mine. It’s also creating myself an opportunity that before all of this started, I never had.
Life throws curveballs all the time. Nothing that’s really worth it is easy. Starting a business tests all your limits and plays with your self worth and validation. Biggest lesson I’ve learnt so far? I can’t give up because I can’t go back. I use that as my mantra now, especially when self doubt rears it ugly head.